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8 Bronzing Hacks for Women With Dark Skin

These essential products and bronzing techniques give complexions of all colors that next-level glow
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By now most fair-skinned women are well versed in the beauty of bronzer. After all, it's an easy way to add a boost of the color their skin naturally lacks. But the value of bronzer doesn't end there. Women with dark, caramel and olive skin stand to gain just as much from this makeup wonder.

"The true mastery of makeup is not adding color to the skin," says celebrity makeup artist and stylist Victoria Duke. "It's manipulating color to direct light and create dimension -- to reinvent the architecture of the face." Whether you're in the market for sharp, defined features or radiant all-over glow, bronzer allows women with darker skin tones to take their makeup to the next level.

However, when it comes to dark skin tones, different bronzing rules apply. So we've rounded up some of the pros' best tips for making this luminous beauty product work on complexions of all colors.

Image via Imaxtree

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All-Over Glow
No matter how rich your skin tone, the allure of an all-over luminous complexion is universal. Exhibit A: The radiant Gabrielle Union.

"For Gabrielle's glow, I recommend mixing a liquid bronzer with your regular foundation and applying it with a BeautyBlender sponge, $15.95, for a flawless finish," says celebrity makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla. "The Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid, $48, works amazing for this." (Fair warning: This technique produces major shine, so Chinchilla doesn't recommend it for oily skin).

For even more glow, dust shimmery powder across your chest and shoulders with a large powder brush. You can use the same powder as an eye shadow to bring extra light to the face. Try Lorac Tantalizer Baked Bronzer, $33.

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Brightened Up
Bronzer isn't always used to darken the skin; sometimes it creates a warmer, brighter effect.

"If you want to bring warmth to dark complexions that are dull or ashy, use a foundation that has red or orange undertones," says Alejandro Falcon, Artistic Director and National Educator for Osmosis Colour Cosmetics.

Select a bronzer color that plays up the undertones already in your skin, Falcon suggests. "Orange, red, plum, burgundy or wine-colored bronzers brightens darker skin beautifully," he says. Here, Lupita Nyong'o is wearing a rich orange tone to bring out lightness and warmth from her complexion. To get Lupita's fresh face, try Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, $53.

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Chiseled Cheekbones
For model-like angles, take a cue from today's reigning cheekbone queen, Zendaya. "A warm bronzer was used right under her cheekbones to accentuate them," says Chinchilla. Heighten the effect by "brushing a golden highlighter directly onto the cheekbones."

Pair a powder bronzer and sheer golden highlighter -- like Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Golden Duo in Golden, $39 -- to copy Zendaya's look.

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Age-Defying Sheen
Want skin that glows as if the past decade never happened? That level of radiance requires one essential ingredient: shimmer.

"A shimmery bronzer can brighten the face and impart a youthful, luminous glow," explains celebrity makeup artist Vinnetta Scrivo of NYC's Eva Scrivo salons. "Shimmer powder is best applied using large sweeping movements with a big powder brush in areas that you want to highlight: top of the cheekbone, brow bone, top of the nose and in front of the chin."

Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic, $42, complements caramel skintones, says Scrivo (think: J.Lo). If you have darker skin, choose a shade with pink or peach undertones, like Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Pink Mosaic.

BY AMANDA MONTELL | MAY 4, 2015 | SHARES
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